Charles Lim Teng Siang v Hong Choon Hau  SGCA 43
In May 2018, David Lewis QC and Daniel Bovensiepen authored a bulletin about the radical decision of the English Supreme Court in Rock Advertising v MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited  AC 119 (“Rock Advertising”) in respect of the effect of “no oral modification” clauses (“NOM clauses”). The Supreme Court in Rock Advertising had overturned the Court of Appeal and rejected the reasoning in a string of previous cases.
Since then, the decision has been applied in England repeatedly, as well as being cited in four Court of Appeal cases. But the long-running controversy as to the common law effect of NOM clauses on orally agreed variation rolls on. In the very recent case of Charles Lim Teng Siang v Hong Choon Hau  SGCA 43, Singapore’s apex Court has, in a notable unanimous decision by an enlarged five-member panel, disagreed with the majority view (led by Lord Sumption) in Rock Advertising. In doing so, the Singapore Court of Appeal expressly relied upon adverse commentary on the Rock Advertising decision, including our May 2018 bulletin.
In this bulletin, the same authors look at the Singapore Court of Appeal’s recent decision in closer detail.
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